Health services research


Over the last few weeks, we have examined the role of health policies influence on clinical practice, evidence, individual patient-centered outcomes and community health. This week the focus will be on public health and how it relates to population health, we will then look at applications of these principles through community health centers. Specific population issues, such as mental health concerns will be addressed. Lastly, we will look at the importance and process for measuring outcomes from these programs and how health services research differs from other types of research. The use of information technology to help communicate these findings will be explored.

Health services research is targeted towards looking at specific process and outcomes measures from programs affecting a population’s health. One process measure which most nurses have utilized is the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). Outcomes are quantifiable expressions of the desirable effects of an intervention that are to be achieved by a certain time. One of the largest examples of this is the Healthy People program, which has utilized various outcome measures over time to improve the program and to identify new healthcare initiatives.

Populating health research can also include two broad types of research: primary and secondary. Primary research involves the collection and analysis of original source data, which is collected specifically for the research study. Secondary research involves the analysis of existing data and prior research information for possible new uses or conclusions. Examples of both kinds of research can be found in Healthy People.

Research in population health involves traditional research approaches along with measurement techniques such as surveys, claims databases, and clinical records. Ultimately, the goal of population research is to identify evidence-based results which can be used to develop programs. With the development of improved technological systems and communication between systems, data collection for population health can be even more streamlined.

Your Learning Objectives for the Week:

Correlate the terms between public health and population health and the role of the APN.
Review specific models of population health based programs.
Analyze the various approaches to research and measurements in health services research.
Articulate the role of information technology in the creation of data

Describe what specific resources or federal agencies that you will utilize to remain informed and current in public health trends and practice